Productive Environment Blog

You CAN Have Too Much of a Good Thing

You CAN Have Too Much of a Good Thing | Kathy Muzik

May 29, 20242 min read

“Everything in excess is opposed to nature.”
- Hippocrates

A short time ago, I shared that fiction books have become essential to my downtime and relaxation. After writing that article, I took a deeper dive into my book collection, and it was an eye-opening experience.

My Achilles heel is learning. I find so many subjects fascinating. Unfortunately, or fortunately(?), my book collection reflects this. While I still have a small collection of hard-copy books, that part of the collection grows more slowly these days.

Many years ago, I transitioned to primarily digital reading material in the form of eBooks and audiobooks. But digital collections can be a stealthy beast that silently grows out of control.

I've captured all of my reading material in Goodreads, whether hard-copy or digital. My recent analysis revealed that if I read at a pace of one book a week, which is often unrealistic, it will take me just over 12.5 years to read everything on my digital 'To Read' shelf, presuming no new content is added.

I am thrilled I've read 412 books in my overall collection. However, learning that I have over 12.5 years of content ahead of me was a much-needed reality check, not to mention some FOMO about new content that has yet to be released.

So what's a book lover to do? Reading and learning are positive activities for me, but my content accumulation has clearly spiraled out of control. Between books, articles, and online courses, I've realized it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

But I have crafted a plan, and I'm not afraid to use it! First and foremost, I've tapped into free resources from my local public library to access eBooks and audiobooks.

About 100 items on my digital 'To Read' shelf are free content from Audible+. However, I plan to cancel my Audible subscription, which will revoke my access to these items.

  • I have found some of these items through the library resources and added them to a reading queue.

  • I have identified a handful of the free Audible+ books I want to listen to based on their educational nature, but they are unavailable through my library resources. The total listening time for these books is about 28 hours.

  • The remainder of the 100 items are mere 'nice-to-haves,' and my eReader already has plenty of content waiting for me.

  • I will prioritize listening to the 28 hours of audio and then cancel my Audible subscription.

  • Canceling my subscription and eliminating these 100 Audible+ items will take two years off my reading timeline.

In the future, I will consume new books primarily through my library resources and only when I can read them immediately. Until then, I will add them to a reading queue that can grow as large as it warrants.

With a plan in place for books, next up for review are digital articles and online courses! It's time to keep facing reality.

Kathy Muzik is one of Productive Environment Institute's Certified Productive Environment Specialists™ (CPES™).

Our team consists of Certified Productive Environment Specialists™ (CPES™) who teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at www.ProductiveEnvironmentScore.com.

Kathy Muzik, Certified Productive Environment Specialist™ Masters

Kathy Muzik is one of Productive Environment Institute's Certified Productive Environment Specialists™ (CPES™). Our team consists of Certified Productive Environment Specialists™ (CPES™) who teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at www.ProductiveEnvironmentScore.com.

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